Turkcell gets friend finder app from Useful Networks

Turkcell gets friend finder app from Useful Networks
Leading Turkish wireless carrier Turkcell is launching an SMS-based friend finder service using technology from Useful Network and Inta SpaceTurk. Called “sobbe”, this service was already launched by Useful Networks in the US (Sprint), UK (O2, Orange, Vodafone, T-Mobile) and Sweden under the “Sniff” brandname. The service is using geospatial data from Inta SpaceTurk.

sobbe can locate friends and family anytime and anywhere by identifying their location via their mobile phone signal. It then delivers the location via a text message or within Facebook - even providing a detailed map of the vicinity. The permission-based application provides complete privacy control: only two people who have mutually accepted and established a “sobbe” relationship can locate one another. Friends have complete control over who sees them and when, thanks to the ability to instantly switch between being visible and invisible.

Unlike other friend finding services, sobbe works on literally any handset on the network, and it finds the location of friends in real-time, not the last time they updated their status. The Facebook application allows users to easily invite, connect and locate any of their closest online friends. There is no registration fee for sobbe, however Turkcell is charging 2 SMS per request to locate a friend.

Mustafa Eren, business development manager for location based services at Turkcell stated: “sobbe is a great example of a mass market mash-up of location, mobile and Facebook applications. The ability to locate friends or other physical locations on demand with any mobile phone also enables brands and advertisers to interact with their customers in new and exciting ways.

With Turkey home to one of the largest Facebook populations in the world (over 10.5 million users) and the partnership with Turkcell - which has over 36 million customers and more than 50% market share – there is a good potential for sobbe in the country.

Tuesday, July 14th 2009

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